The Hormonal Nightmare

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Why Is It Important To Collect More Than One Sample?

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Just as no health practitioner should rely only upon a questionnaire in order to determine what a woman’s hormonal needs are, neither should any health practitioner rely upon one sample in order to determine what a woman’s hormonal levels are.

The fact that a woman’s estrogens change every 6 to 18 hours, as well as the fact that progesterone is released in spurts throughout the day clearly indicates that health practitioners need to do more than one sample in order to have a better idea of what is happening with a woman’s hormones.

Therefore, in my practice, if a woman is in her reproductive years, up to 11 saliva specimens are collected throughout her cycle, and if she is pre–menopausal, menopausal, or post menopausal, at least 2 saliva specimens are collected.

The following table shows the results of the first saliva sample that one menopausal woman collected.

  • Salivary Hormones
  • Sample #1
  • E1 – Estrone
  • Normal
  • E2 – Estradiol
  • Normal
  • E3 – Estriol
  • Low
  • Progesterone
  • Normal
  • Testosterone
  • Normal
  • Progesterone to Estrogen Ratio
  • Normal

Looking at the first saliva sample, it appears as though this woman is only has low Estriol while all the other hormone values are normal.

The following table which shows the results of the second saliva sample that the same menopausal woman collected.

  • Salivary Hormones
  • Sample #2
  • E1 – Estrone
  • Low
  • E2 – Estradiol
  • Normal
  • E3 – Estriol
  • Normal
  • Progesterone
  • Low
  • Testosterone
  • High
  • Progesterone to Estrogen Ratio
  • Low

Looking at the second saliva sample, this woman has normal levels of Estriol but her Estrone, Progesterone and her Progesterone to Estrogen Ratio [which medical doctors developed in order to decide if a woman is at risk for breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer] are low, and her testosterone level is high.

With the results from each of these two samples for the one woman being so different, it is easy to see that, depending upon which of these two results that a health professional would see if they only had the woman collect one sample, that the treatment recommendations for this woman would be different based upon each of the samples.

This difference between the above two samples from the same woman is extremely common and illustrates the reason why is extremely important to do more than one sample, in order to determine what is happening with a woman’s hormones.

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